Beauty Guru: What Beauty Means to Me

The mirror is a funny thing. I've looked at this mug for 24 years, but every time I see a picture of myself I'm like, "Who is that lady?" The way I view myself mentally is a striking contrast to what shows up on an unexpected Facebook tag. Hard to believe it's the same flesh.

Beauty is constantly gabbed about in a woman's world. Images of breath-taking goddesses are constantly being stuffed into our eye holes like Nickelodeon gack. What to like. What to wear. And how to do it. Which is why it is so refreshing to discuss what I think beauty means to me. I think beauty is real.

Did not real beauty launch the face of a thousand ships? Well before the creation of botox and make-up, women were driving men bonkers (I guess that works physically and mentally.) It's in our DNA. It's our primal instinct: Real beauty. What you have right now in this moment is gorgeous. Big or tiny boobs. Long hair or short. Wide hips. No hips. Smooth or scarred skin. Legs for miles or legs that couldn't go around the block. Look - it's real! We have this wonderful, physical, tangible body!

And being beautiful is using that body confidently. I'm not talking about walking down the street with your chest puffed out like a rooster (although you could do that). I'm talking about the ethereal sexiness that comes from eye contact. Sitting up in your desk chair so your entire spine hits the cushion. I'd like you to do something if you can: lift your chin so it's parallel to the floor. Roll your shoulders back. Can't you feel your beauty? Use this posture while you walk. Use it while you're talking with your co-workers. You'd be amazed how "beautiful" people will perceive you afterwards.

Because beauty is bravery. I don't know how many times peopled commented on how I stare at the ground when I walk. I literally stare. "How can you see where you're going?" I was often asked. That's right. I didn't. Not that I was constantly running into things (I was), but I wasn't brave enough to look up. Over time I started looking forward when I walked. That made a huge different in how I viewed my personal beauty. And then something clicked. I don't care what others think. If anything is the true definition of beauty, it's that. Being true to who are are, what you like, CREATING a trend instead of following one -- now that's beautiful.

Beauty takes courage. And courage takes the heart of a lion. You might be able to accept and cherish the beauty of others but finding the beauty within yourself takes heart. It takes a whole lot of love. Love for yourself and love for our world. I had to go down a dark path of self-hatred before I skimmed the surface of self love. Every day I tell myself in that funny little mirror, "I am a divine expression of life. I love and accept myself that way I am right now." I started smiling more. My dreams were no longer crazy dark and angry. Above all else, love is beauty.

We are all beautiful already.

We just have to look in the mirror.

Megan Colwell has been a Shine Beauty Guru since 2009. She runs a lifestyle fashion blog over at The Nautical Owl.